Belfast Telegraph

Exploding pressure cooker almost blinds Northern Ireland woman

By Brett Campbell

A young woman has told how she was "almost blinded" when a pressure cooker exploded in her face.

Rumer Priestly was making soup on Wednesday night and decided to use the appliance for the first time, but she ended up in A&E after things went terrifyingly wrong.

The 25-year-old from Greyabbey in Co Down said she was left in agony after being covered in boiling liquid.

"It felt like someone had thrown acid in my face. I was crying because of the extreme pain but the hot tears only made it worse," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"I don't have a clear memory of what happened but I ended up on the other side of the kitchen covered in boiling hot soup.

"It was in my hair, on my face and all over my clothes - it was even up the walls and on the ceiling."

She had used a wooden spoon to slide the vent open to release some steam, which caused the explosion, but she believes her clothing and glasses spared her from worse injuries.

"I thought if I let a bit of steam escape I could take the lid off to add more ingredients, but the lid just blew off the top of it," she explained.

"If I hadn't been wearing my glasses at the time I have no doubt I would have lost my vision.

"I was also wearing a long sleeved T-shirt, which stopped my arms from being scalded. It could have been so much worse."

Despite being in a state of shock she managed to react quickly by removing her T-shirt and splashing her face with water before her distraught mum rushed her to hospital.

"I applied an ice-pack and took it with me in the car because my chest and face was burning," she said.

"I'm not sure if that was the right thing to do but it was the only thing that stopped the pain.

"I'm still very tender under my eyes and across my forehead, but compared to how I was I'm much better."

Her mother Pamela had been in the living room when she heard a "big bang".

She initially thought her daughter had fallen, but she was left speechless when she got up to investigate and witnessed the aftermath.

"Rumer was stripped off at the far end of the kitchen and there was boiling liquid everywhere, I couldn't believe it - it was really scary," she said.

"It just goes to show the power of the pressure.

"We were both frightened and she just looked scalded, it was a nightmare."

She believes that her daughter's clothing spared her from excruciating burns.

"We found her glasses sitting beside the cooker and they were covered in thick soup which had hardened. It was on the inside and outside of the lenses," she added.

"Even with the glasses it managed to burn her eyelids, and I have no doubt that if it wasn't for her glasses and choice of T-shirt she would have been severely burned."

After being treated at the Ulster Hospital, Rumer is now at home recovering after her ordeal and wants to warn others against using a pressure cooker without doing some homework.

"In fairness I am not well versed in using pressure cookers, so I know it wasn't the best idea," she said.

"This was my error, but it's not something you think you need a lesson for - you don't need to learn how to use a saucepan.

"I had no idea how dangerous they can be. If you have never used one before then don't do so without first learning how they work. I have been lucky, but it was a narrow escape."

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